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Through Lens or Brush, Fall does not Rush 

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald in his most famous work, “The Great Gatsby.” These words were to provide hope of new beginnings, to disillusioned character, Daisy. 

Although many look at Fall as a time when nature prepares to put itself to sleep, Fall does provide a promise of what is to come and herein lies Fall’s secret. We watch in fascination as leaves magically change colours, giving us a glorious show, before drying and falling off the tree. As bare and lifeless as a tree may appear after its leaves have fallen, the tree is still very much alive and not dead. Nature brilliantly knows what to do to ensure the tree will have the strength to survive the cold, windy, sun-deprived winter. The tree is preparing to save energy for spring’s rebirth and reblossom, made only possible through the shedding of its leaves. The leaves must sacrifice themselves, in order to preserve the life of the tree, only to be reborn again come Spring. A tree that doesn’t lose its leaves, will die, as unforgiving strong sudden wind gusts can destroy a tree bearing a large area of leaves.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Where one may see Fall as a time of plants and leaves dying, as trees and shrubs look lonely, sad and bare, some see the beauty of the cycle of life. Fall is a time where not only plants but animals prepare for the winter ahead. A time to slow down, as days become shorter, crisper, cooler, signalling us to slow down and take heed of the coming winter. Conserve our energy as animals do in hibernation. They don’t fear slowing down, but rather, surrender to it. 

Fall passes quickly and leaves change day by day. How then can capture and preserve the beauty of Fall? The childhood craft of collecting leaves, placing them in between sheets of waxed paper and ironing them – a metaphor of extending life. Picking flowers and pressing them in a beloved old book, only to rediscover and enjoy them at some future date. They are changed, but not dead, just different. 

“Art is long. Life is short. A picture can become for us a highway between a particular thing and a universal feeling,” famous words of Group of Seven Artist, Lawren Harris. The Group of Seven often depicted Autumn scenes from their painting trips to Algonquin Park and Algoma. 

Artists of all genres have immersed their thoughts and talents to share and preserve this often misunderstood season. 

Fall’s unrushed beauty and bareness are captured in the stroke of a paintbrush, the click of a lens, or in prose. Fall, the season that holds a metaphor for life – beautiful, ever-changing, yet fleeting.

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